Recently I went to See You at the Pole, an event where students and parents gather around the school flagpole to pray. My son always asks me if we are the only ones there, will we still pray? Of course we will; in fact maybe we would make more of an impression on others if we have the courage to stand alone in our faith. I learned that lesson from my grandfather. My grandfather, who just passed away in July, lived his life for the Lord. He was a preacher and evangelist for sixty-five years. He built 15 churches, sent many preachers out under him, baptized people in every ocean of the world, led many lost souls to the Lord and totally lived a life of pioneering faith. My grandmother recently told me a story about his unwavering faith in the midst of dire circumstances.
My grandparents had just moved to a small town in south Louisiana to start a new church with their four small children. They were down to their last few dollars and the refrigerator and pantry were bare. My grandfather decided that he would go out and preach on the street corner, alone, and see how God would provide for him. He didnít know How, but he knew Who and that was all he needed to know.
As he stood on the street corner outside a small bar, preaching in the wind, he raised his voice to heaven and proclaimed the gospel of Jesus Christ. He must have stood there preaching for over an hour, but no one came and no one heard the Good News. He was not deflated, though, because he knew that even though no one came or heard his words, God heard them, knew his heart and thatís all he needed. After his sermon, he decided to walk by the post office and check the mail in the hopes of there being a check waiting for him and his family. There wasnít. So he walked home aloneÖor so he thought.
He hadnít been home but for just a few minutes when he heard a banging on the door. His wife, Honey, answered the door to a straggly looking fellow who smelled of alcohol. His name was Bebeaux Guillot (remember they were in South Louisiana). In Bebeauxís hands were boxes filled with food. He went on to say he had been drinking in that bar when he saw a man preaching in the wind. He knew he must have really been a man of God to be standing on that street corner preaching with nobody listening, and how he knew he was supposed to bring food to this manís family. He had followed my grandfather home from that bar to bring him groceries. Thatís all he knew to do to thank him for preaching in the wind.
When you feel like youíre alone in being a witness, do it anyway. You donít know who might be watching. Thatís the way my grandparents lived their lives. Never knowing how things would turn out, but knowing that if they did it to glorify God, they would be fine. Now this happened about sixty years ago. If youíre reading this story right now, you have been made a part of something: a proclamation of faith, a witness of righteousness and a boldness in believing.
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